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Halo 2600 (Ed Fries)

Published July 2010

Halo 2600 is an action-adventure video game developed for the Atari 2600 video game console, inspired by the Halo series of video games.

The player uses the joystick to control the character of Master Chief as he makes his way through 64 screens, divided into four zones: outdoors, Covenant base, ice world, and a final boss area. Weapons and power-ups are available to combat the many enemies that appear. The player and enemies can each be killed by one hit unless a shield is collected. There are two power-ups in the game, both guarded by what appears to be nine enemies but is actually three. The first is a gun with a faster rate of fire. The second is a pair of boots that allows the player to move faster. In addition to these, by killing certain enemies, the player can obtain an energy shield that will take one shot to prevent the loss of one of the player's three lives. After successfully completing the game once, the game returns to the menu screen, but with a red sky. If the player chooses to play again from that screen the game will run in "Legendary" mode and the player will move and shoot at a slower rate.

Halo 2600 was written by Ed Fries, former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft, who was involved in Microsoft's acquisition of Halo developers Bungie Studios. Fries decided to create a version of Halo for the Atari 2600 after being inspired by a book called Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System by Ian Bogost and Nick Montfort. The Atari 2600 had such limited RAM, only 128 bytes, that drawing Master Chief was difficult, and creating a game with other characters was even more so. Fries later stated that making the game taught him that constraint is sometimes a fuel for creativity.

The game was released in July 2010 at the Classic Gaming Expo. At the exposition, 500 physical copies of the game were on sale. It was one of four new Atari 2600 titles released by AtariAge at the 2010 Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, including Duck Attack!, K.O. Cruiser (a boxing game) and a port of Sega's 1981 arcade game Turbo. The effort was called "rough" but "amazing" by Tech Crunch, citing the immense size constraints involved in creating the game. Destructoid called the games controls "surprisingly capable", and The Escapist called the game's chiptune soundtrack "perfect". The source code of the game was used to create an 8-bit poster representation of Master Chief. The cartridge version was rereleased through Atari Age in 2013.

Identifier Halo_Atari_2600
Scanner Internet Archive Python library 0.4.4
Mediatype software
Publicdate 2013-11-04 07:40:29
Addeddate 2013-11-04 07:40:29
Date 2010-07
Year 2010
Emulator a2600
Emulator_ext bin


Reviewer: tracey pooh - - April 28, 2014
Subject: impressive
i was hoping for more, and slightly disappointed when it started, but found the gameplay responsive and fun.
this would have made a perfect 1982 style atari 2600 game!
Reviewer: SourJim42 - - January 24, 2014
Subject: Masterful
If you've ever played Adventure for the 2600, and you have a strong enough imagination, you might be able to begin to reckon what this game is like before you play it.

Adventure + Halo.

The graphics are some of the best ever eked out of the platform. The controls are responsive. The boss battles, frustratingly difficult. It's a great game. (Be sure to find the gun to get started. Normally on the top screen, I think?)
Reviewer: Hypercube VisLab - - December 4, 2013
Subject: Amazing Recreation
This is honestly one of the better-made of the silliest things available. It's wonderfully responsive in a way 2600 games shouldn't be able to be emulated. Just play this through and enjoy.
Stream Only
Uploaded by
Jason Scott
on 11/4/2013
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